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post #11 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
I also have a coming 3 yr old and after all the angst and worry of training a young horse, I personally have decided that young horses are overrated. Why stress and worry and spend tons of money hiring trainers when you can go out and buy a horse you can actually have fun with (and is safe) right away? I LOVE my youngster, but sometimes I wish I could just ride him and relax with no worries the way I do with my older guys. Even if a young horse is behaving, they really don't seem to have auto-pilot like an older horse. You always have to be on your toes.
Exactly. Those 'older', been there horses have auto-pilot and cruise control. You can't beat a ride where you can sit back, enjoy the scenery, and let your horse do the thinking.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #12 of 21 Old 02-17-2013, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Stafford, Va
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Whao, there!

A lot depends on the kind of horse you're talking about. If you're talking QH or the saddle-type breeds, you're probably ok at 19. I have one I work with right now that is 21, but looks and acts like he's in his mid-teens. Generally speaking, though, the larger the breed, the shorter their life-span. I had a 17-hand "Heinz-57" (grade) gelding die of old age at about 22. The work horse breeds are often done by 24. Then again, I once saw a 32 year-old mare toss her professional bronc rider off right between her ears at the Tucson Rodeo one year. He didn't get close to 8 seconds!

Have a vet check the horse before you lay down the money. People want to get rid of old horses because they don't want to have to feed them after their useful life or bury them when they die. They will often under-state the age of the animal. Your 19 year-old could easily be a 25 year-old. With experience, you can age a horse pretty close by their front teeth.

You should also consider the fact that after you've had this 19 year-old for 5 years, he'll be 24 and you won't be able to give him away, much less sell him. Some folks have here have said their 30+ animals are still making way, but that is not the norm by a long shot. Most horses get "put out to pasture" or made "pasture mates" by the time they are in their mid-late 20s.

It's no different with people. Some folks jog 5 miles a day at age 70. Others, like me, have knee problems at age 54. Some folks live to be 94, others die in their 50s. Some horses develop back trouble as they age, just like people.

If I were you, I'd be looking for a horse in the 12-16 age range. They are mature, as stable as they'll ever be, and you can pick them up inexpensively just about anywhere in the country. You will be able to keep him and ride him for a good 6-10 years, if he's an average horse. If he doesn't work out, you won't have too much trouble selling or giving him away at 17-18 years-old.

Just my 2 cents. Worth about that.

Here's one you might take a look at
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sway back..jpg (14.5 KB, 107 views)
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Massachusetts
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You run those risks with any horse you purchase. I've seen cases of perfectly healthy 2 year-olds being sway backed almost as badly ad the one pictured by the age of 5. I was given a 3 year old fresian sport horse that fell as a foal and knocked it's spine just right to cause it to twist as it grew causing one hip to be higher then the other. I've also seen a 10 year old trail horse have to be put down due to heart problems that came on so quickly they couldn't have been prevented.
I'll admit it is a bit more of a risk to buy an older horse but a horse at any age can be tranqued into a calm trail mount, or have a sudden illness take their life, or have something lame them shortly after purchase. That's why vet checks are important at the purchase of any horse. Draft sized breeds probably won't be able to be ridden as they age as joint issues are very common but horses and ponies, depending on their past jobs, usually last well into their late 20's and 30's now days. They may need a bit more care or some supplements but I know more seniors that are still riding than I do that are pasture pets. It all depends on the care level the horse has received through out it's entire life and the care taken as it enters its senior years.

Show me a horseman who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a man who has never truly ridden.

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post #14 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 07:01 PM
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Location: Georgia USA
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I would not pay a 10 year old price for a 25 year old horse. It may be possible to pick up a nice older horse pretty cheap. He will cost more to feed, but the initial investment should be less. And you can have a sane, safe, riding horse, even if only for a few years.

Niced horse thenrie...........
That one gives you a neat little place to sit. You won't fall off the back or the front.....

Carpe Diem!

Last edited by Celeste; 02-18-2013 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Wanted to pick on thenrie
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post #15 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Stafford, Va
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Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
I would not pay a 10 year old price for a 25 year old horse. It may be possible to pick up a nice older horse pretty cheap. He will cost more to feed, but the initial investment should be less. And you can have a sane, safe, riding horse, even if only for a few years.

Niced horse thenrie...........
That one gives you a neat little place to sit. You won't fall off the back or the front.....
Custom leather bucket seat, like a Ferrari!

(I clipped that off the Internet. Poor horse should have been put down.)
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-29-2013, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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I like the encouraging comments on using older horses. I think I am retiring mine to soon. I was thinking that at 19 and 20, I should find some younger mounts. I think I will get my old gal in condition again and enjoy her. She is a wonderful dependable ride, nicely trained, takes on all kinds of trail frights with no more than an questioning look.
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-29-2013, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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I know of a gelding right now that I'd give 10x the average local horse price. But he's not for sale. Or ever will be. He's 18 or so and perfectly himself.
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-29-2013, 11:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by thenrie View Post

Here's one you might take a look at

^ just as swayed backed if nore more than that appy mare and she was about 10 years old, lol. First time ive seen a horse that was that swayed backed in a long long time! Had to post, lol.

She was a pain in the ol backside to ride too..
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-30-2013, 12:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
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My mare is 20, was not ridden and kept in a fairly small field (with half a dozen other horses) for years before I got her (at 17), then suffered a serious leg injury that required a couple of years healing & rehab before I could ride her. Now she's apparently happy to carry nearly 200 lbs of me on half-day trail rides, and wants to trot & canter much of the time. Within reasonable limits, good exercise should help keep a horse (or a human) in good condition for years.

I'd say yes, given a clean bill of health by a vet, and with a younger, lighter rider, you'd stand a good chance of having years of good riding. Of course the question is what to do when the horse gets older, and the rider gets heavier. Are there younger riders coming along?
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-02-2013, 12:37 PM
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Location: Upstate, NY
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I would look at the price they are asking and that could make a big difference, just look online and talk to local barn owners to see what they know of in the same price range.

also above and beyond anything take your brother to ride the horse a few times see if they click... some horses & some people just don't get along

the big thing with age is how much space & money do you have for care down the road? are you ok if this horse turns into a "pasture buddy" when your brother either gives up riding or needs a horse that will challenge him and make him a better rider in 3-5 years? or is it a horse that has the potential to grow (experience wise) with him? my sister got her current horse when the horse was 16 and now he's got to be pushing 30 he can still do it all: taking care of young riders being led around and taking jumps at large shows
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buying , horses , older , trail riding

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